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The company will transfer SLR operations to Sony

There's another shakeup in the camera world to report today. We reported last week that Nikon is for the most part exiting the film camera business to focus on digital. Konica-Minolta has reported today that they are ceasing their camera business altogether.

Last year, the company forged a relationship with Sony to jointly develop digital SLR cameras. Konica-Minolta will now transfer assets related to its DSLR business to Sony effective March 31st, 2006. Sony will then be free to develop DSLR cameras which are compatible with Konica-Minolta's Maxxum/Dynax lens mount system. This will give current Maxxum/Dynax users an upgrade path in the future to Sony DSLR cameras.

Konica-Minolta will also cease its photo film and photo paper business. Operations will gradually be stepped down until production ends on March 31, 2007. Minilab operations will cease on March 31st, 2006.

As a result of the company's massive restructuring efforts, its worldwide workforce will be reduced by 3,700 employees. The company now plans to focus its operations on optics and display devices as well as medical imaging.



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Konica Forced the End
By Wesley Fink on 1/20/2006 11:20:17 AM , Rating: 2
The merge with Konica turned out to be the death knell for Minolta. After surviving and thriving so many years in the photo business it was interesting to see the bottom line managers at Konica kill the long-running brand. Konica understood copiers (sort-of), but they never did understand cameras.

However, sensors are everything in Digital Cameras and Sony is a sensor developer. This could be a great marriage with Sony to bring new choices to Maxxum Digital owners. Sony finally gets an SLR line to showcase their sensors - something they really needed.

There's also a foot note in the announcements that Minolta has agreed to continue making cameras and lenses for Sony as part of the technology transfer agreement.




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